Showing posts with label other systems. Show all posts
Showing posts with label other systems. Show all posts

Wednesday, March 27, 2024

Review: Gary Gygax's Lejend Master's Lore and Beasts of Lejend (2000)

Gary Gygax's Lejend Master's Lore (2000)
Today, I will cover the last two books of the Lejendary Adventure core, Gary Gygax's Lejend Master's Lore and Beasts of Lejend, both out in 2000, the same year as D&D 3rd Edition.

These reviews will go rather fast.

Gary Gygax's Lejend Master's Lore (2000)

Gary Gygax. 204 pages. Color covers. Black & white interior art.

Published by Hekaforge Productions.

This was the next book in the Lejendary Adventure line. Often considered to be one of the greatest books ever produced for any RPG in any edition is Gary Gygax's Dungeon Master's Guide (DMG) for AD&D 1st Edition, published in 1979. It is a massive tome with all sorts of details for handling an Advanced Dungeons & Dragons game.  This book only shares two things in common with that other tome. 1. Gary's name is on the cover. and 2. there is an organization to the material that can best be described eclectic. 

Like the DMG, the Lejend Master's Lore book seems to be an information dump. 

We start with Avatar Knacks and Quirks, which should have been in the Player's book. While there are some neat ideas here, simple things the characters can do and personality quirks both on d100 tables, not all will work well for all players. I mean, what if I don't want my character to have Wylfphobia and hate "elves"? 

There is a section on setting the various prices for goods for items and an attempt to get it to work with modern ideas of how much gold is worth. Nice idea, but I think that in practice, it is a bad idea. Not to say you should not work out your economy, but trying to tie it to the real world is difficult.  

A lot, 70 pages, is given over to Extraordinary (Magic) Items. There are some neat ideas here for this game. In terms of adapting to other games? Well, I think there are analogues in many games for these, so not a lot to mine here. 

Halfway through the book, we actually get to the sections of Lejend Master's Reference. This covers a lot of situations that the Game Master will likely run into and how to deal with them. And there are a LOT of tables. Lots.

Ok. Comparing this book, or any Game Master book, to the DMG is not fair. The 1979 DMG set the watermark for all other GM books to follow and many do not meet that mark. The DMG is also a good guide for a lot of different sorts of games. It is dense, information-packed, and assumes a level of intellectual competency that you typically do not see in many books.  But it is fair to compare the Lejend Master's Lore to the DMG. Same author, 20+ years apart. This book doesn't even come close. There is no evidence of 20 years of evolution of thought here and anything that is good, we have read before.

If anything, this book is just very disappointing.

Gary Gygax's Beasts of Lejend (2000)
Gary Gygax's Beasts of Lejend (2000)

Gary Gygax. 204 pages. Color covers. Black & white interior art.

Published by Hekaforge Productions.

A quick note. I am confused by the differences in layout between all three of these books. LML and BoL both look similar until you dive into them and both are different enough from the Player's book to make me think different teams or different people did the layout. Again, it is not fair of me to do this, but compare to the D&D 3e books out at the same time. The three cores are obviously related and have a similar look and feel.

This is our book of monsters. The back cover says over 500 creatures, and yeah, that seems right. The stat blocks are small, with descriptions and some art of varying quality.

Now in general, I like monster books. This one is not bad. It might even be a good monster book for this game.

The creatures are divided into sections, which is not a bad way to do things. We have Animals, Creatures of Lore, Dragonkin, Living Dead, and Unquiet Spirits (including demons and devils), and Human-like creatures. No. I am not using Gary's weird ass spellings anymore.

Pretty much any monster you think should be here is here. There are a few interesting variations on monsters, but nothing worth hunting down a copy for. 


So in the end of all of this, what do we have? In truth, a rather lack-luster Fantasy Heartbreaker that doesn't bring anything new to the table may be made even sadder due to the author's pedigree. 

Is it a fun game? Maybe, I am sure others could find joy here and I won't rain on their parade. But I have scores, if not hundreds of other games that far, far better and at least dozens that do exactly what this one is trying to do.

Tuesday, March 26, 2024

Review: Gary Gygax's Lejendary Adventure (1999)

Lejendary Adventures - Core Rules (1999)

Let's go forward a few years and see what lessons, if any, we have learned from Dangerous Journeys and Mythus.

So 1999 was an interesting year. I had been away from D&D for a while (nearly four years) and had been playing other games. I picked Chill back up but had not played it much, played a lot of WitchCraft RPG and dabbled a bit in Mage. Meanwhile, AD&D 2nd Ed was winding down, and 3rd Edition, the first from Wizards of the Coast, was on the way.

This was the environment in which Gary Gygax chose to release his Lejendary Adventure.

Lejendary Adventure - Core Rules (1999)

Gary Gygax. 208 pages. Color covers. Black & white interior art.
Published by Hekaforge Productions (originally). Troll Lord Games would later pick up this game and publish new material for it.

This game is hard to quantify. I can't tell if it feels old because this is 2024, 25 years after it was released, or if it would have felt old in 1999. It is wonderfully complicated (though less so than D&D) in the over-wrought way of many games of the late 80s, though I will say there seems to be less "High Gygaxian" here. Though there are plenty of odd spellings. I'm unsure if they are here to be different or to keep the lawyers from snooping around too much. "No, your honor, these are Ilfs and Wylfs, not Elfs." There are a lot of terms to digest for characters, and it makes for an unnecessary uphill climb. This is a game for gamers. 

This is a fantasy RPG and just a few steps removed from a Fantasy Heartbreaker, to be honest. If it had been designed by anyone other than Gary Gygax, it would be an interesting curiosity. Though there is a robust character creation system here. Gary wanted to go beyond classes and allow players to play what they wanted. Many games have already done this, so this feels a little like trying to catch up. I still applaud the efforts and the results.

We get the basics. What is a Role-playing game? What are the players' roles, and what is the role of the Lejend Master? Yes, that is what the GM is called and how it is spelled. It is interesting to see Gary's lament of winning interest in RPGs by younger players. People who had not even been born yet when he wrote this are now playing the fifth edition of his first game in numbers that would have been staggering to him in 1974. It's too bad he did not get to see this. 

We do get a Glossary in the beginning. It is full of terms like AB Activity Block, ABC Activity Block Count, AEP: Activation Energy Potential...and I am already forgetting what I just read five entries ago. 

The Avatar

The Avatar is your character in the game. It was a term that felt odd then, but now I think most people can grasp it quickly enough. This leads some weight to the rumor that this was developed as the basis for a video game RPG, not a tabletop one. But I am not sure.

Anyway, your Avatar can be one of the following Species (yes, Gary does say Species, but he also says Races): Dwarves, Ilves, Wylves (Elves both), Oaf, Orc, Trollkin, Gnomes, Kobolds, and Veshoge.

The core mechanic is a d100-based one. Character abilities are represented by Base Ratings in Health, Precision, and Speed, with an optional rule for Intellect. The Base Ratings have 100 points to distribute among them, keeping in mind the minimum and maximum for each race. Then you can roll to get a bit of randomness. This can result in base ratings ending in .5 in some cases (most often Speed) and later on some other awkward numbers. I am already getting Mythus flashbacks.

Abilities are numerous and cover things Alchemia, Arcana, and so on. Think of these as skills in other games. Each of these 38 Abilities are tied to the Base Rating. So Sorcery for example is part of Speed. I get the distinct feeling that Gary wanted something akin to the "Mental," "Physical," and "Spiritual" he had used in Dangerous Journeys, but those were being used now in BESM and Tri-Stat (the Tri stats, Mind-Body-Spirit).  Again, abilities are largely determined by race. Which is an unfortunate hold-over of an age now gone. So yeah, not a fan really. 

There is a good section on page 13 that helps define your character I mean Avatar. It would be useful in other games too. There are three examples of helpful character creation. 

The Race descriptions are next. While there are some similar names here, don't go in respecting them to be the same. For example, the Kobold are more like thin halflings. Oafs are ogres, and trollkins...well if you can picture the Trolls from the various Trolls animated movies, the ones where they sing not eat Christians, then you have a better idea.

Orders and Benefits

These are like classes, but not 100% really. I mean they used to tell one magic using type from another, but I guess a better description is an occupation.

Avatar Abilities (details)

This details the various skills, aka "Abilities," the Avatar has and the effects they have. These abilities can change what Orders you could belong to. Also, while the Base Ratings affect the Abilities, the Abilities also raise the Base Ratings. I guess the logic here is like exercise; you can get more skillful at something AND build the muscles you used to do it at that same time. The logic is not unsound but has some interesting (and annoying) side effects. Namely, as you advance your abilities, your base ratings change. I have created one character, and I am already seeing Base Ratings change a lot (and I am also getting numbers like 14.6 and 58.4), so I am prepared to use that eraser.

Equipment Lists

Gary always loved his Equipment lists.  So here they are.

Enchantments, Geourgy, Necrourgy, Psychogenic, Sorcery, & Theurgy

The magic and "spells" of the various Orders. Each one gets its own chapter-sized section. This covers about 110 pages. 

The Journey

These are the rules for play. Interestingly enough, this is a small section that covers the basics and most of the situations the Avatars will run into. I think the bulk must be in the Lejend Master's book.

Making a Character

Ok, I made a character. To be honest, I am not 100% sure I did everything right, so I am waiting until I read through Lejend Master's book.

The Lejendary Earth / Mythus Ærth Connections

Like Dangerous Journeys, Lejendary Adventure was thought to exist on a parallel Earth, sometimes called Learth. Compare that to Dangerous Journeys Mythus' "Ærth" and D&D's "Oerth" and "Urt" or "Uerth" from the Frank Mentzer-penned D&D Immortals. I guess we are just missing an "Ierth."

It feels like there are some solid similarities in the campaign worlds of these two games. No surprise since Dangerous Journeys was cut down long before it could become big enough to support a detailed campaign world. In some ways, I like to think of all these worlds, Ærth, Oerth, Learth, and Urt, as having connections to each other. 

There is not enough here to make me think that Lejendary Adventure is in any way a redo of Dangeous Journeys. In truth after going over this, and then Mythus, and then back to this I am struck by how some of the material in LA that I considered to be "High Gygaxian" doesn't measure up to the text in DJ:M. 

One of the companies that gave us Lejendary Adventure is named Hekaforge (cover has Hekaforge, the interiors have Trigee), so I think Gary was really invested in the ideas of Dangerous Journeys, but maybe not all the applications. 

So LA reads better than DJ:M, but it also lacks some of the charm. Neither game is going to replace AD&D on my table.

I am 100% certain there is a group out there that has, in the past, tried to reconcile Dangerous Journeys, Lejendary Adventure, and AD&D. The desire is there for me to try, but it is not strong enough to actually do it. Maybe I'll make avatars for all these Gygazian Earths (Oerth, Uerth, Ærth, and Learth) and how they come together somehow. In truth, I should make a unique Witch Queen for each.  Given there are four worlds, maybe each is also attached to an element? I think I'll search online and see if others have done much with these games and see what I can glean from that. After all, if YOU put in the work into these games to actually run a campaign or two, then that deserves to be memorialized. 

Up next, the Lejend Master's book and then some monsters.

Thursday, March 21, 2024

Review: Gary Gygax's Dangerous Journeys: Mythus Magick (1992)

Gary Gygax's Dangerous Journeys: Mythus Magic (1992)
I needed a bit of a break before tackling this one.

I covered Gary Gygax's Dangerous Journeys: Mythus on Tuesday. I also wanted to go over the second (or third) volume of his Mythus game, the book of magic called, easily enough, Dangerous Journeys: Mythus Magic (1992).   I will not go into as much detail on this one for the same reasons I actually find this book more interesting, it is largely a collection of spells and rituals.

Gary Gygax's Dangerous Journeys: Mythus Magick (1992)

Gary Gygax with Dave Newton. 384 pages. Color covers. Black-and-white interior art.
Published by Games Designer Workshop.

We open this book and it is described as "the Colossus (or more appropriately, the Merlln) of all magick books!" is certainly large and very in-depth.

I will start in the middle and mention that a full 270 pages of this book are "Castings," so Spells, Cantrips, Rituals, and the like. They are interesting in a very academic sense. If you are going to play this game (ve con Dios) and play any type of spell caster, then this is a must-have book.  IF you are the type like me and love reading about different sorts of magic and magical systems, then this is a very interesting book with some RPG applications. I am not about to try to convert these to any form of D&D mind you. It just would be easier to convert something like Judika Illes' "The Element Encyclopedia of 1000 Spells." And at least Illes writes in a way that can be plainly understood. 

The spells range from the useful (Heka Bolt, Find Traps) to the oddly named (Acclumséd—make someone clumsy) to the largely unneeded (Candlemake Formula—make 10 beeswax candles. Still need 10 BUCs of supplies; might be cheaper to buy them.) That's fine; it's hard to come up with 1,400 different spells. All of these spells are split up by vocation. So, at least, we have that going for us. 

Returning to the beginning, we get a repeat of the material from the core book on what Heka is. Or rather, I should say the core book summarizes what is here. 

We learn more than we ever wanted about the sources of Heka. To be fair, there is some material that people might find useful in their games. However, I will point out that a lot of this can be found by going to other sources. No, I am not saying that Gary copied anything here! These are some classical ideas (crystals, times of day, times of the year, places) that have more or less magical energy. Gary takes these ideas and codifies them for his game. Again, similar information can be found in other sources that are a bit more approachable. Bard Games' "The Complete Spellcaster" comes to mind. Still, this is much easier to read than, say, Isaac Bonewits' "Authentic Thaumaturgy."

There are chapters on Heka Users, Replenishing Heka, and the Structure of Magick. Look. I like reading this stuff, but there is more here than any RPG needs. 

This covers the first 30 or so pages. We learn that Heka (and it's pronounced "HEE-ka" not "Heck-Ah") is the sum of your Heka-producing K/S STEEPs, and every casting level has a base Heka cost and sometimes extra costs.

Remember all of those Spell Points and Mana systems for AD&D that started appearing on the internet (and before if your town had a good-sized gamer population)? Well, this is that dialed up to 17. If you play a caster, then your books are going to get used—a lot.

After all the spells there are sections on how to create new castings. Useful, for this game, but not others. It would be easier to create your own. There is even a section for on the spot creation. I think someone got a glimpse of Ars Magica or Mage and realized that for 1992 this was already an old and clunky system.

There are chapters on non-human Heka using HPs and Heka-based powers.

The last Chapter covers various magic items, which makes it a good read. 

There is a huge Bibliography that dwarfs Appendix N. What stops it from being truly useful are a complete lack of publication dates and publishers. I mean, yeah I can figure them all out (and have more than a few in my own library) but it seems...well, sloppy.


We also get a tome sheet for all the spells you can cast.

So, maybe even more than the Core Rules, I enjoy reading this book for the content, and I hate it more than the Core Rules in terms of playability.  There is just so much dense text here geared toward such low returns. People point to D&D Basic and Expert (B/X) as a masterpiece of word economy. In just 128 pages total there is everything you need to play to last years. That's not hyperbole, that is a documented fact at this point. Something that Mythus can't do in 800 pages (so far). This is yet another example of how a good editor is worth their weight in gold. 

If we look at this game as a Fantasy Heartbreaker, we can be amused and laugh a little at some of the ridiculousness of it all, and then brush of our heavily marked characters sheets and try to play a session. No one though in 2024 is going suggest playing a regular game of this though. Fun for an experiment while one of the regular players is away and you put the campaign on hold.

If we look at this though as something that was supposed to be the Magnum Opus of the father of RPGs, then we can't help but come away a little confused and maybe even a little sad about it.  What went wrong here? How did this get out of Gary's hands and into mine? Was it hubris? Was it something else? Was there so much desperation here to keep this from looking anything like D&D that good ideas were thrown out in favor of bad ones? I honestly have no idea. But here is the score right now, Gary made two games (or 1½), D&D and AD&D, that are nearly universally loved to this day. Then he made Cyborg Commando and Dangerous Journey, which are nearly equally reviled. 

I was going to spend some time figuring out Larina's spells, but honestly, I really can't anymore.

Dangerous Journeys: Mythus

A Note About Mythus: Epic of Ærth

I had this book once upon a time and I will readily admit I enjoyed it. For fluff it was great stuff and reminded more of the Gygax of old. Yes I also remembered there were some questionable bits in it, but nothing I can recall off the top of my head. It was enough that I unloaded years ago at a game auction.

Ærth in the Mythus books reminded me a lot of the sort of Earth one sees in games like "Man, Myth, & Magic (1982)" or "Lands of Adventure (1983)." A mythical Earth that only exists in some sort of dreamtime.  Mind there is nothing wrong with this as a game world. In fact arguments could be made that these sorts of Earths are great for gaming. Obviously, I am a fan of the idea and would 1000% do a "Crisis on Infinite Ærths" one day.  If trying to get those three to work together didn't drive me insane first.

At the end of this I find this is where I am at. Mythus does not give me anything that Man, Myth, & Magic didn't also do 10 years before. Even as a Fantasy Heartbreaker, it doesn't live up. But I keep coming back to it, hoping to find something here that I missed. 

Sadly, due to the lawsuits that did come from TSR, Game Designers' Workshop was forced to close in 1996, leaving games like Traveller, Twilight2000, and Dark Conspiracy adrift for a number of years.

Tuesday, March 19, 2024

Review: Gary Gygax's Dangerous Journeys: Mythus (1992)

Gary Gygax's Dangerous Journeys: Mythus (1992)
 This week is Gary Con, so I thought while I am celebrating 50 years of Dungeons & Dragons, I would also spend some time with Gary Gygax's other two games he made after leaving TSR, where he created D&D. This week, I am coving Dangerous Journeys: Mythus.

A bit of background for those not 100% up to speed. Back in 1985, D&D brought in a lot of money, but the publisher, TSR, was in debt of $1.5 million. These reasons have been explained better and in more detail elsewhere; suffice to say that by the time the dust settled (almost), Gary Gygax had been kicked out of the company (but not yet the industry) he helped create.  He spent some time doing some novels with his New Infinity Productions where he also published his near-universally reviled Cyborg Commando. No, I am not going to review that one. Plus I don't own it.

After a little time away he returned to RPGs in 1992 with his new game, "Dangerous Dimensions," or DD for short. Well, TSR was not going to have any of that and threatened to sue (in fairness, it is from a playbook that Gary helped write), and his new game became Dangerous Journeys, and Mythus became the fantasy setting. 

Dangerous Journeys would be his new core system with Mythus, the Fantasy RPG. There was a mention of the supernatural horror game Unhallowed, which would have been fun. Plus, I would have loved to have had a fantasy RPG and a supernatural horror RPG that used the same system. 

Eventually, more pressure from TSR would kill Dangerous Journey, leaving only Mythus produced.

But what is Dangerous Journeys, and what is its setting, Mythus?

Gary Gygax's Dangerous Journeys (1992)

Gary Gygax with Dave Newton. 416 pages. Color covers. Black-and-white interior art. Some full-color art plates.
Published by Games Designer Workshop.

First some clarifications.

Dangerous Journeys is the system being used here. Mythus is the Fantasy RPG that uses the Dangerous Journeys system/rules.  Mythus is also divided into Mythus Prime, which is a basic game and Mythus Advanced, which is the advanced or full game. This book covers both the Mythus Prime and Mythus Advanced games.

This game was designed to address some of the perceived shortcomings of AD&D, though Gary could not come right out and say that. He had to be a bit oblique about it.  This book is huge and there is lot going on. 

Welcome to the Mythus Game

This introduction introduces us to the game and some RPG ideas like what an RPG is, what a Gamemaster is, and so on. None of which I think are needed here to be honest, its a bit much. But the meat is the Game Premise and, in some ways, the most interesting to me. Mythus takes place on Ærth, a world like our own but 1000 years in the past, so at the time of publication, 992 CE. Here, the myths of old are real, and we know about them because of Ærth's connection to Earth. So elves, dragons, and vampires are stories here, but there they were/are real. The trouble I am having with Ærth as presented is there is very little to differentiate it from our Earth save for window dressing. This is disappointing really since I feel there is something here if given the chance to grow a little. The maps and hints throughout the book are tantalizing but not enough.

Here we are also introduced to the next two books in the line "The Epic of Ærth" and "Mythus Magic." Of those two, I only have the Mythus Magic book. We are also introduced to the concept of the Basic and Advanced games. 

Your character in the game is a persona, or Heroic Persona, or HP. This game uses regular d6s and d10s for all the rolls. There are also d3 and d5 rolls here, but most will d%.

Dangerous Journey Mythus

Mythus Prime Rules

Note: There is also a "Basic Set" sold separately as "Mythus Prime" that is a 144-page book. It is essentially the same as this section, with some expansions. 

This is the "Basic" game designed to get people started in the Mythus game. It is like the Advanced Mythus game in many ways but obviously simpler. I am not going to delve too deep here. I have read it many times over the years and I like some of the ideas here. But I can talk about them when I cover the Advanced Rules. This does cover the next 45 pages or so. Reading the chapter Creating your Heroic Persona, though, is a good one since the Advanced Mythus points back to it for character creation. There is more in the advanced game.

HPs (remember, Heroic Personas) have three Traits: Mental, Physical, and Spiritual. It is not a bad division, really, Tri-Stat would later do it to much success. In this Basic section all the steps are outlined by an example. So choose SEC (Socio-Economic Class), Traits, Vocation (not a class...), choose K/S (Knowledge/Skills), and STEEP points (Study, Training, Education, Experience, Practice); get your finances and possessions., and round off your character.  Compared to the flipping through pages, one has to do with AD&D 1st ed. This is an improvement, but compared to other games from around 1992, like, say, Vampire the Masquerade, it already felt dated. Still better than World of Synnibar, released the year before.

All characters get three K/S for free, Perception (Mental), Perception (Physical), and Riding/Boating.

There is a chapter on rolling and success. I go into that in detail with the advanced game. The same is true of the chapter after the next on Combat.

The third chapter is on Heka, or the force of Magic in the Mythus world.  Now this was an interesting one to me. In the 90s I was dying for a new magic system. It is interesting but wildly crunchy. Heka is determined by your HP's magical K/S. Again, more on this in a bit. 

Improving Skills & Abilities is after Combat, and the rules here as simple enough. you spend APs (accomplishment points, our XP stand-in) to improve. This one also gets more complicated in the Advanced Game.

A Chapter on Playing your HP, moving to the Advanced Game and some Gamemaster advice.

I like the idea of a simpler game to introduce the more complicated one, but I can't help but feel that the real game, the one that would been more successful, isn't somewhere in between. I mean we all did the same with Basic and Advanced D&D.  Feels like the same mistakes are being made here for completely different reasons.

There is a brief adventure for the Basic game, High Time at the Winged Pig, at the end of this section. To be honest, it's not really all that interesting, especially given that this is the same guy who gave us B2 and the TGD series. I mean the HPs meet in a tavern. Fine for 1974-1977, but 1992? We deserve better than this really.

Advanced Mythus

Now 55 pages later, we are now in the Advanced Mythus game.

We are referred to the Basic Mythus game often, but the steps for character creation are pretty much the same.

1. Determine Socio-Economic Status. It may not be the best way to run a game since no one will go here first anyway. People choose a concept and/or a class first. This, though, does have effects on what your HP can and can't do. A table of the percent of the population of every SEC level is also presented. Not sure if it is here for illustrative purposes or if you are supposed to have your character population conform to it. I should point out though that frequency distribution for "rolled characters" will never match the SEC Populations table, no matter what you do. This is why I wonder why it is here.  A lot depends on your HPs SEC. If the acronyms get to be too much, remember this is a Gygax game, and there will be a lot more. Now personally, I am not a fan of so much to be dependent on my HPs SEC (damnit now I am doing it), I mean I have my Taxes for that. I want to make kick-ass characters. Honestly, I'll just choose my vocation and then find an SEC that fits it.

2. Generate numbers for Traits/Categories/Attributes. We have the same traits as before, Mental, Physical, and Spiritual. These are divided into two categories each. Mnemonic/Reasoning (Mental), Muscular/Neural (Physical), Metaphysical/Psychic (Spiritual).  Each of these six has three Attribute scores: Capacity, Power, and Speed. So a total of 3+6+18=27 numbers to describe your character, I mean HP. That seems a bit excessive. Granted, we only need to roll up 18 of those (OR assign 6 in the point spread) and the others are derived. These scores range from 6 to 20, with 8-11 as the average. The maximum of any human attribute is 30 for physical (cap, pow, or spd) and 40 for mental or spiritual (cap, pow, or spd). There are two ways to get these numbers. The first is a point distribution method. You get a range of numbers to divide among the 6 categories the split them up for the cap, pow and spd scores and then add them up for Mental, Physical and Spiritual. The second is a 2d6+8 rolled for all 18. Again, examples are utilized here which helps. These numbers are used to determine "Critical Levels," "Effect Levels," "Wound Levels," and "Recovery Levels." They will also be used to determine an HP's Heka. 

3. Calculate STEEP for the HPs Knowledge/Skill areas. Players are encouraged to look over the vocations to see what areas they need to increase here. The same basic vocations are here, but a lot more are added. Now, vocations are not classes. Classes are picked in other games and then the skills are given. Here you start with the skills. While there are vocational packages that feel like classes, you could in theory ignore them and build a vocation of your own. There is an Appendix (E) here for that.  STEEP scores are 00 to 91+ with 00 as "no knowledge" and 91+ as Ultra-genius. There is a K/S of "Witchcræft," and it is sadly presented as nothing but pure evil. Even Demonology here is not so vilified.  Yes. I am taking this as a challenge.


4. Choose the HPs K/S sub-areas. This goes along with the various vocations. In the advanced game, there are three additional automatic skills, Etiquette/Social Graces, Native Tongue, and Trade Phoenician, which is the "Common" of Ærth.

5. Determine Personal information. This can be random or chosen.

6. Calculate the HPs Resources.  This is random based on SEC. The unit of currency is the BUC or...Basic Unit of Currency. So 50' of rope costs 10 BUCs. I am not sure if this is clever or irritating. 

This all covers about 70 pages. I glossed over a lot of it. 

Core Game Systems

These are our core rules. Rolls are made with the K/S areas. The six difficulty levels all have a multiplier to the HPs STEEP. They are Easy (x3), Moderate (the default x2), Hard (x1 [one would think a x1 would be the better default]), Difficult (x0.5), Very Difficult (x0.25), and Extreme (x0.1).  So if I want to read a scroll and my K/S in Dweomercræft is a 20 then if this were an Easy Challenge, then my chance to succeed is 20 x 3 or 60%. Moderate is 40% (20x2); if it is Very Difficult, then 20x0.25 or 5%, and 2% for Extreme. While so, a lot of the math is front-loaded on figuring out those K/S scores. These are roll-under abilities (roll under or equal). So, rolling 96% or above can be considered an automatic or even a special failure. 

We get guidelines for combining efforts, for rolling a K/S vs another K/S and so on.

There is also something called a Joss Factor (JF) which work like luck or hero points. At least...I think they do. There is not much here about it at all. If there are rules about how to regain Joss (and WHY is it called that?? Oh, I found an "in game" reason that explains nothing.) I have not found them. 

Spending APs is also covered for Traits and K/S areas. For this, advanced K/S descriptions are given. 

Combat is largely an application of the appropriate K/S areas. Combat is done in units called Critical Turns (CTs) of about 3 seconds each. The initiative is a d10 roll.  Armor reduces damage so HPs can take a lot of damage.  Combat can target hit locations, given the names with damage multipliers of: Non-Vital (x1), Vital (x2), Super-Vital (x3), and Ultra-Vital (x4). This is to account for creatures that might have different sorts of vital parts. It feels weird, but given what this game was trying to do, I can see the utility here. 

There is an insanity and madness mechanic, but as I have said before, I am never very fond of these. 

Heka & Magic

Heka was the god of and the word for magic in ancient Egypt (or Ægypt in this book). Now I will freely admit, this is also one of my favorite sections. It is a wonderfully complicated system that would have made Isaac Bonewits proud. We get a few spells, but there are more in the Mythus Magic book (Thursday).

More on Personas

This covers anything that can change in an HP, like a change in SEC to becoming a vampire. This also covers some basic monsters.  There are some examples of NPCs, or er...NHP? Oh, actually, they are OPs, or "Other Personas."  The "monsters" are divided into three categories: Evil Personas (EPs), Monstrous Personages (MPGs), and Mundane Personas (MPs).  Other than being descriptive, there is no real difference between these that I can tell, save for name/label. Maybe if they had different point spreads.  There are also Friendly Personas (FP), which are what they sound like. 

Magickal Items

Pretty much what is says on the tin. There isn't a lot of stuff here.

Condemned as Galley Slaves

An adventure for new HPs. 

Appendices follow.

So. This game. 

Let's be honest. It is not good. It's actually kind of embarrassing how bad it is. Not to say there are not good things in it.

There are a lot of things I do like about it, though. I love the idea of Ærth, and Necropolis is still a fun adventure. The Mythus Magic was also a lot of fun, and I am looking forward to going over it again on Thursday. That said, I love some of the fluff here and there are things I could use, but it is a lot od shifting wheat from chaff here. 

Larina ferch Siân
Larina ferch Siân of Ærth

The over-heavy-handedness of the "Witchcræft is pure evilTM!" and the inclusion of "wicca" vis-à-vis through the Wisewoman/Wiseman vocation (or Mystic, the book is not very clear on this) is just too tantalizing to pass up, even if character creation in this system has been universally reviled.  I think I will try the character today and some spells on Thursday.

I did find some character sheets online, but I am going with the one in the back of the book.  I considered doing the point spread, but I opted to roll up a new character instead. The numbers I got were a bit higher, but not very different from the point spread or the sample character. It also works out since I wanted a character similar to her AD&D stats.  

I admit that rolling up the characteristics and getting my derived scores was much faster than I expected. But then I got to the K/S area, and things ground to a halt. It is not that it is hard, just tedious.

Note: For all the talk that this is a Class-less system, the Vocations are classes in all but name really. 

So, our basic K/S skills are figured out as follows:

  • Etiquette/Social Graces: SEC Level (6) x 5 = 30
  • Native Tongue (Welsh/Keltic): 30 (above) + MMCap (16) = 46*
  • Perception (Mental): 2d10 + MRCap (15) = 31**
  • Perception (Physical) 2d10 + PNCap (12) = 28
  • Trade Language: SEC (6) x 3 +MMCap (16) = 34
  • Riding: SEC (6) x 5 = 30

* In some places it says SEC x5 for language others SEC x3.
** The formulas are reversed for these in the book. 

Now, I have to pick my Vocational K/Ss. I picked Wisewoman for Larina since that fits well, but be sure I'll be bumping up her Witchcræft. Since this is a spiritual Vocation, I can choose which perception to use, so I chose Perception (Mental). I think I could figure out how to knock together a "White Witch" option per Appendix E, but instead, I am just going to tweak the Wisewoman a bit.

For this, I just shifted the same K/Ss around and kept the same number of STEEP points (248).

Crap. Forgot to adjust for age. Not going to do it. Say I rolled the appropriate number, and those above are the adjusted ones.

Attractiveness: Got a 16. Not bad. Should adjust for age or other factors I am sure, but not going too.

Joss: Rolled a 62, so 10 Joss factors. 

Not rolling for birth rank, despite some fun things for a 7th child of a 7th child. This character is way established in my mind as the 1st born daughter. 

She is from Cymru (Wales), and her birthplace was near Gŵry (Gower).

Quirks: A bit of roleplaying fun here. A lot like Qualities and Drawbacks in point-buy games. I'll choose two as long as they don't change any trait numbers (good or ill). I am not recalculating all of this. I'll take Psychic Awareness and Heka Channeler. For "Conter Quirks" I'll take Obsessive/Compulsive and Low Tolerance to Alcohol. 

Connections: She gets two of these, so I am giving her access to the local Druid Hierarchy and an Apothecary; both of these are due to her parents.  

Results below.

Larina ferch Siân of ÆrthLarina ferch Siân of Ærth

Larina ferch Siân of Ærth

Ok. That was fairly tedious, but in the end, I got a character that I think will be fun to use IF I ever play this game.  I'll figure out her Heka and do spells on Thursday.

I need a mental break now.

Thursday, March 14, 2024

Daggerheart Open Playtest Beta: Intro and Character Creation

 The minds behind Critical Role have come up with their new Fantasy RPG and honestly, it has some things going for it.

Daggerheart Fantasy Role-Playing is now in Open Beta Playtesting and you can grab a copy for free from DriveThruRPG or their website

Galapa by Jessica Nguyen
Galapa, one of the new Ancestries. Art by Jessica Nguyen

I began reviewing it yesterday and quickly decided to take the plunge to print out the entire 375+ page playtest document so my kids and I can try it out.

You can see the DNA of many systems and games here, which they acknowledge.  I have not read a bunch, but there is a very interesting world here and one I think many will like to play in.

I know most of my readers are "old-school D&D" so I'll say this. If there is something about D&D 5 you dislike chances are good it is here and turned up to 11. 

That all being said there is a really interesting game here. 

That's a lot of pages. Daggerheart playtest

Will this game be a "D&D Killer?" too early to say. I mean we didn't see Pathfinder taking D&D's throne when 4e was out, but then it happened. And when was the last time an RPG Playtest made the pages of Business Insider the day of release?  Do not underestimate the fanship of Critical Role, who, in their nine years, has only seen their popularity rise. Sooner or later, Hasbro will do something boneheaded again, like the OGL or maybe even AI art, and people will look for more options. 

One thing is for certain, the crew at Critical Role will make the game look great to play. Cases in point, they have already produced some videos for it. 

I am watching the One Shot now, and the game looks fun. The feel is a solid fantasy RPG. Their enthusiasm is infectious. 

Character Creation

I have gone through character creation. It will be faster once I know the system better, but it is still very fast. There are a lot of options. LOTS. If you are the type that looks at D&D 5's choices of species and shakes your head then this will not be the game for you.

Daggerheart is a Class and Level based system, so that will be familiar to most; especially what I perceive as their main target, D&D 5e players. 

Classes and Heritages

So, there are nine classes, each with two sub-classes (Foundations) and 18 ancestries. Like I said, there are lots of choices. Watching the "How to Make a Character" video is helpful here, but I just dove right in. That's how we did in the 1980s! The video shows Travis Willingham of Critical Role rebuilding one of his Campaign 3 characters, Bertrand Bell, in this game.  I can relate. 

Each class has two "Domains" and these overlap. These help decide what sorts of powers, abilities, and spells they can take. For example "Arcana" is magic and is the Domain of Druids and Sorcerers. But Sorcerers are also "Midnight" which is sneaky, shadowy stuff and also a Domain of Rogues. 

You choose a Class, then a Foundation (which gives you benefits), then your first-level powers/abilities.

Choose your Heritage (Ancestry and Community) which gives you yet more powers/abilities. There are nine Communities. Think of these as being like your background. 

So where are we? We have 9 classes, 2 foundations, 18 ancestries, and 9 communities. So 2,916 combinations at level 1. 

There are Traits, which line up more or less with d20/D&D abilities. 

Damage Thresholds are bit like HP, with a tracker. Damage gets deadly really fast.  Oh and damage to you also damages your armor. 

A note about Death. This game has a great rule that I might steal for my home games. 


I like the whole "Embrace Death and Go Out in a Blaze of Glory." You die and stay dead, but you do it with style. Oh, it also seems that coming back from the dead is rare and not at all easy. When a character does, they permanently lose one point of the Hope resource.  I have not talked about the Hope and Fear resources yet. But they are spent like Drama or Hero points depending on the situations. These use the oft-neglected d12.

You choose your abilities/powers/spells based on your Domains. The feel is similar to some of the choices for characters seen in D&D 4e.

There are Background questions. They are optional, but they are fun.

Experiences are fun. These are bits on your background that you can use a bonus to your Hope roll. These are figured out in Session 0 and work best if they complement (or aggravate!) the other characters.

Connections are similar. This has a solid Blue Rose feel to it. 

Character creation is fun and would work best during Session 0 with your group. 

Larina Nix in Daggerheart

Of course, I am going to try this with my Drosophila melanogaster of character creation experiments. There is no witch class here, so the first thing I need to do is figure out what her class is. 

While the playtest materials give me plenty to create a class (and the videos use them) there are other options. One is the Character builder at the Daggerheart Nexus at This is what I did for my witch Larina. 

Looking through my options here and with the playtest I am opting for Sorcerer over Wizard. Larina knows things, but they didn't all come from books (which she loves) plus I like the idea of the Midnight Domain for her, so she is a Sorcerer. For her Foundations (subclasses), I gave her Primal since her magic needs to feel a little old and a little wild. Her ancestry is human, and in this reality, she is Loreborn to tie into her connection to reading and books. 

Background I can skip over since this not with a group yet, but I do want to cover her Experiences here. For her +2 Experience I went with "I understand that! (Magical Scholar)" so she can spend a Hope die anytime something magical needs to be explained or figured out. For her +1 Experience, I went with "Wait, I need to read this (Seeker of Magical Secrets)" to cover that sometimes her curiosity overrules her common sense. So that +1 to her Hope die would be great in situations where she is trying to read a magical inscription on a tomb wall while avoiding getting hit by a mummy. 

For my Domain Cards (yes there are cards, but also slots on my sheet) I took one Arcana and one Midnight out of my choices of three each. I wanted to try a balance of the two. 

The effort was fast, really fast. And I am pleased with the results

Daggerheart Larina 1 of 3
Daggerheart Larina 2 of 3
Daggerheart Larina 3 of 3

Yeah, I am quite pleased with this character and character creation. But the proof is in the playing.

So now, after reading, making a character, watching some videos, and retweaking the character, I'll try my hand at making a character from the start again to see how long it takes. For this I will do my other active character Sinéad.  She is also a sorcerer, but I want to see how different two characters of the same class can be. Then I'll also try her as a multi-classed Bard.

Sinéad in Daggerheart

In D&D Sinéad is a half-elf Magic-user (Sorcerer)/Bard. Now her history is very, very much tied to the Forgotten Realms. So unlike Larina, her home is a very integral part of her. It will be interesting to see how that works in a game like Daggerheart.

Sinéad in Daggerheart

Ok, that took about 4 minutes. While I can get into the details, suffice it to say that this worked well for me and I was EASILY able to capture the concept here that this is character who can't control her magic and is working on figuring out how.  She isn't a bard yet. But that also fits in well with my starting concept of her.  For her item, Family Heirloom, I have it as her father's lute.

In Daggerheart, you can multi-class starting at the 5th level, so I am going to try that. When Multi-classing, you choose one of the two Domains of the second class. I rather like that. The Bard Domains are Grace and Codex. While Codex would be great for the added magic, concept-wise, Grace is a better fit.  She also chooses one of the Foundations (Subclasses). For Sinéad, I picked Troubador so she can get some game advantage from her lute.

Sinéad in DaggerheartSinéad in Daggerheart
Sinéad in Daggerheart
Sinéad in Daggerheart
Sinéad in Daggerheart

Level 0 to Level 5, plus making screenshots? 25 mins.  A PDF export would be nice here.

So, despite Larina and Sinéad both being Sorcerers in Daggerheart, they do look and feel different.

There is a lot to try out for this game and I am looking forward to seeing where it goes.


Friday, January 12, 2024

Kickstart Your Weekend: Coven & Crucible: Unbound

 I participated in the Kickstarter for Coven & Crucible, and the core book is still on my desk, begging me to review it. Well, in the meantime, here is the first expansion!

Coven & Crucible: Unbound

Coven & Crucible: Unbound

From the campaign page:

Coven & Crucible is a game set in a world where magic, witches, supernatural creatures, magical animals and more exist. Magic is cast by witches: people who have studied and learned how to work it. Anyone can be a witch, but it takes knowledge and discipline, akin to martial arts or cooking or programming or any other skill.

About Unbound

  • 13 New Houses + Expanded Lore on the original 9 houses from the corebook.
  • 100+ new NPCs, magical creatures and supernatural beings.
  • 50+ of brand new magical traits.
  • Expanded information on the various planes of existence (mundane, astral, infernal, internet, etc.).
  • 6 high level scenarios to run, as well as dozens of plot hooks and encounters.

And much, much more!   

It looks great and the Core rules are fun. I just need to do more with them.

Wednesday, August 2, 2023

Mail Call: More Witches!

 Yeah...I am obsessed. Mail call today, and it was full of some great witch books.

Up first, another witch-centric RPG I backed on Kickstarter, Last Sabbath.

Last Sabbath RPG

Last Sabbath RPG

Last Sabbath RPG

Last Sabbath RPG Art, bookmark and pin
Last Sabbath RPG Art, bookmark and pin

The game looks phenomenal, and I want to try it out really soon.

And one I have been waiting 20+ years for.

The Bewitching Hour

Ashley Poston has a novel out about 17-year-old Tara, one of my all-time favorite witches. 

This is her pre-Sunnydale days, and I can't wait to jump into this.  And because I had a credit lying around, I picked it up on Audible as well.

The Bewitching Hour Audiobook

While I am sure the narrator will be great, it would have been nice to get Amber Benson to do it.


So yeah I *know* I am obsessed, and I know I catch some grief for it online, but you know what? 

I don't actually care.

This is my little corner of the Internet, and I get to do what I love here. And if that gets me 10 fans or 10,000*, then fantastic! Plenty of other sites out there that leave me scratching my head asking "who would even find that fun??" but hey, their sites, their rules. 

To quote Steve Martin, "The most amazing thing to me is, I get paid for doing this!"

(*It is less than 10,000, but a lot more than 10!)

Wednesday, June 21, 2023

Interview with the Witches of Midnight Team

Another great Kickstarter coming up this week, in fact live by the time you read this. 

Witches of Midnight

Witches of Midnight

This one caught my eye a while back. I have read over the draft rules, and there is a lot here to digest.

While doing that, I will share an interview with the Witches of Midnight Team and let them tell you about this game.

Tim Brannan/The Other Side: It is my pleasure today to be interviewing the team that is currently Kickstarting a new Witch-based RPG and Tarot deck, “Witches of Midnight” which you can find here, 

Before we get into all the questions, please introduce yourself and tell us your role on this team.

Witches of Midnight

WoM Gavin: Hi, I'm Gavin (they/them). I'm the lead developer, official Lore Weaver, and a co-author of Witches of Midnight. I've been developing tabletop games since 1993 (using the RandInt() function on a TI-84 Plus), but this is the first project that I've felt compelled to publish.

WoM Andrea: Hi, I'm Andrea (she/they). I'm the creative lead and a co-author of Witches of Midnight. This is my first project, but one very close to my heart. I am a practicing witch myself so it is really important to do right by all witches while designing this game.

TB/TOS: Fantastic! What are some of your favorite games? Why?

WoM: Our favorite games include: A Fistful of Darkness, Scum and Villainy, Call of Cthulhu, Shadowrun, Earthdawn,  Court of Blades, Brinkwood, Under the Autumn Strangely, Werewolf: The Apocalypse and Vampire: Dark Ages.

We really like dark storytelling games with a supernatural element (what a surprise).

TB/TOS: So, tell us a bit about this game and what backers should be looking forward to when they get it.

WoM: Witches of Midnight is a modern "hopeful horror" narrative storytelling tabletop game that gives you all the tools you'll need to tell epic stories of witchcraft.

Midnight is a city shrouded in magical darkness that calls to witches from every corner of the planet. The Order will stop at nothing to register your abilities and take your greatest power, Wyld Magic.

The Kickstarter will include a 200+ page stand-alone core rulebook, a 100 card tarot deck and guidebook, and a set of six custom six-sided dice. We're also offering a “Powered by Witchcraft” enamel pin for anyone who pledges at a physical reward tier in the first 24 hours.

TB/TOS: What do you all feel makes Witches of Midnight different from games currently on the market? What do you say makes it special? Or, bottom line, why should people want to buy this game?

WoM: Our game is different because it centers witches.. few other games do. Also, our Witches have been "out of the broom closet" and a major part of society for over 400 years. The world is both very similar to ours and very different. We detail out those differences quickly in just a few pages of lore.

We also put a big focus on photography to really bring our Factions and major NPCs to life.

Additionally, we have added a lot of new rules to the Forged in the Dark ecosystem with Witches of Midnight. I'll just mention a few that we are particularly excited about.

All Witches have a Familiar. You can shift between playing as your character and their familiar at will during any game session. We've even done a few "all Familiar" Undertakings which were a ton of fun.

Our magic system is robust and exciting even when you use spells exactly as they are written, but you're also able to Boost spells by spending additional Essence on 4 parameters across a 13 point Magnitude scale.

Lastly, Wyld Magic is a reality-bending burst of spontaneous spellwork that any character may attempt. This could be used to teleport your covenmates to safety, animate an army of the dead, or even to melt faces (like the scene in Raiders of the Lost Ark). But you must be willing to face potentially devastating arcane complications if you fail. And even if you succeed, the hunt begins! 

WoM Andrea: From a player’s perspective our setting allows for any style of coven you can imagine. You are not locked into only playing super serious witches. You can play anything from Owl House style coven to a Salem style coven. 

Forged in the Dark

TB/TOS: Why Forged in the Dark as your game system? 

WoM: When we first started development, we liked how Forged in the Dark games focused on the Crew over the individual. We felt like that was perfect for a Coven.

Later, we realized that Forged in the Dark games also teach lessons in the importance of Consent and Intentional action, and those things are very important aspects of witchcraft.

We also discovered that the concept of Retirement (a FitD game mechanic by which a veteran character takes a less active role in their coven) had a lot of untapped potential, so we really ran with that subsystem and added many new Retirement options based on two new character stats that are tracked throughout a campaign.

We like the simplicity of the rules and that failure can be as much fun as success. You can't say that about most TTRPGs.


TB/TOS: Talk to me a bit more about the Grimoires and Heritages, outside of their Forged in the Dark origins. Grimoires feel a bit like what I would call a Tradition or a type of witchcraft.

WoM: We would call a Grimoire your "magical specialty". We are launching with 22 Grimoires (called Playbooks in other Forged in the Dark games) which is a lot, and we have 6 more planned as Stretch Goals for the Kickstarter.

Contrast that with Casting Style, the method by which you use magic. This would include traditions, faith and spirituality, but also any specifics of casting you might choose such as using tools or gestures and incantations. Any complication that arises from your Casting Style also acts as an XP trigger.

Heritage refers to a character's immortal bloodline. Each player gets to choose their character's Heritage traits, and those traits are malleable over the course of a campaign. You might start as an Asterian (Minotaur blood) with no visible Heritage traits or you could start the game looking like you just stepped out of the labyrinth.

TB/TOS: You say Players can use their own casting style with their characters. How do you see that working?

WoM: We were very conscious, as practitioners ourselves, of not implying that spells must be cast a certain way, or with a certain faith or set of beliefs. Casting Style is our way of handing that control over to the player. We hope that it will provoke conversations between players about the differences between open and closed practices and lead to a better understanding of witchcraft for everyone.

TB/TOS: What sorts of games do you see others playing with these rules? In other words, what can players do in this game?

WoM: When your group makes a Coven (a Session Zero activity when you are also introduced to the game's safety tools) you choose what Factions are Allies and Rivals as well as a question that your Coven wants to work toward answering and what themes you want to explore in that story.

With 22 Factions in Midnight, you'll have nearly infinite options. There are many congregations of bound witches with their own goals and endgame, witch hunters (both subtle and overt), elder-god worshiping apocalypse cults, several factions of fae creatures (each with their own inscrutable goals), religious fanatics and a magically empowered military.

Additionally, we will offer a few curated storylines for you to choose from (subject to change as we are working on them now): Solving mysteries in a hate-free magical academy, explorers trying to map the various realms of the Underworld and a coven focused on radical environmental protection.

TB/TOS: Who would you say Witches of Midnight is for?

WoM: We intended the game for a mature audience who are interested in telling stories about magic.

It's for anyone who has felt like witches are an afterthought in most TTRPGs.

It's also for people who are new to the hobby or felt like they weren't welcome at a gaming table. We tried to make Witches of Midnight inclusive and easy to learn for new players. Most of our playtesters hadn't played a TTRPG before and enjoyed it so much they are still playtesting with us nearly 70 sessions later!

Most of all, this game is for players who want to take charge of their destiny and really leave their mark on Midnight.

TB/TOS: What are your future plans for this game?

WoM: We are already working with a couple of other authors, translators and editors to release expansions that localize the game to other parts of the world and introduce their cultural experiences with witchcraft to our game's audience. These expansions would each include several new Grimoires, Factions, interesting Casting Style details and possibly even new Heritages.

Oslo, Mexico, Deseret and Appalachia are some of the possible locations we hope to explore if the Kickstarter is very successful.

We might also branch out into other types of supernatural creatures in the future, but that is a long way off.

We plan to continue to stream our playtest sessions on Twitch every other Tuesday with our ultra-queer cast on

TB/TOS: And finally, for the benefit of my audience, well, and me, who are all of your favorite witches or magic-using characters?

WoM Andrea: Lilith and Baba Yaga. We like to play on the darker side of things.

WoM Gavin: I really love the new iteration of Sabrina (Chilling Adventures) and Eda from The Owl House. But to be completely honest and really date myself, Orko from He-Man is the best.

TB/TOS: And where can we find you all on the internet?

WoM: We have a welcoming and inclusive witchy Discord run by Issa Belladonna. We welcome anyone to join us at

Witches of Midnight // Balsamic Games

Friday, January 27, 2023

Kickstart Your Weekend: Coven & Crucible

I have not done one of these in a while. My efforts this year are going to be to support smaller publishers. This seems like a good one.

Coven & Crucible: a game of magic and witchcraft

Coven & Crucible

You know I love witches, and this game is all about them!  It is also a d12-based system, so you know I love that.  Plus it is set in an alternate version of Chicago where witches hang out in coffee shops! So how can I really say no?

You can read all about on their Kickstarter page. The important details for me though are the game is written and playtested, it just needs to go to layout and printing.

I would love to learn more about the publisher, Thirteenth Moon Games, but they do not seem to have a social media presence and their website is not up.

Still, though, it looks rather fun.